The Surrender of Life
By Ginger Solomon
Our society sees surrender as a dirty word.
But is it?
Imagine for one moment: What if Mary, the mother of Jesus, had been unwilling to surrender her body to the Holy Spirit and give birth to Jesus?
Not only would she have deprived the world of a Savior (well, to be honest, I think God would have chosen another maiden, but we’ll never know on this side of heaven), but she would have missed out on raising the Son of God. What about all those times she treasured a certain memory in her heart? She knew her baby was special. But what if she’d not surrendered?
What if Peter, James, John, and the others had refused to surrender their livelihood when Jesus called to them to come follow him? A great deal of our New Testament would have been written by someone else.
What if Jesus decided surrendering his life for ours was too much for the Father to ask? Can you say up-the-creek-without-a-paddle? Except it wouldn’t be a creek. It’d be a raging river, and we’d be in a baby float.
Let’s add one more what if to our surrender list. Let’s make it a little more recent.
What if Thomas Edison’s mother hadn’t surrendered her quiet time to teach him at home when he had trouble at school? The man had over 1,000 patents for his inventions. The light bulb, motion picture camera, and alkaline storage battery are among them. In addition, he started the first electric company, which later became the General Electric Corporation. (source: www.biography.com)
When we surrender our lives to God and believe in His Son, Jesus, we are giving up something, but we are gaining so much more.
So it was for Princess Anaya, my heroine, in my most recent release, Second Choice. The man she had chosen to be her husband disappeared, leaving a note with no clues as to the reason for his departure. Her wedding was scheduled to take place in three weeks. She’d dreamed of the life she’d spend with him for the last six months. And then nothing. Her plans collapsed around her. Her dreams slipped through her fingers. Her hopes for a bright future faded.
She had to surrender her expectations. It wasn’t easy, but what she gained was so much better than what she gave up. It just took her time to see it.
The end of the tunnel is not always visible while we’re going through it. We know there’s a light at the end, but we can’t see it. Surrender is that way as well. If we’re surrendering to something GOD wants for us or wants us to do, then we can be sure that what we’re gaining will be better than what we’re releasing—even if we can’t see it.
Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer — in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest four, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre, some sci-fi/fantasy, and some suspense. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for two blogs. In addition to all that, she loves animals, likes to do needlework (knitting, crocheting, and sometimes cross-stitch), and is a fan of Once Upon a Time and Dr. Who.
Second Choice Blurb:
Set to be married in less than a month, Princess Anaya Vallis’s intended runs away, leaving only a cryptic note behind. Her father insists the wedding go forth as planned with a new groom. She has days to make a second choice.
Titus Vasco is like a ship without a rudder, floating through life without purpose. Until she calls. He accepts her proposal without hesitation.
But wedded bliss does not come easily. Two virtual strangers brought together by unforeseen circumstances must learn to trust each other and God’s plan for their lives in order to achieve the happily-ever-after they both long for.
Being a seat-of-the–pants writer has its perks. Why? Because my characters are almost always several steps ahead of my keystrokes, often looking over their shoulders impatiently waiting for me to catch up. Little do they know the joke is on them. They don’t realize I’m writing into them my weaknesses—and, to be honest, also my strengths—just to see how they handle them in clutch situations. And I need to observe them from behind. If I outlined the story in advance, I would already know how they coped. So I would learn nothing from them. And very possibly, neither would my readers. Why? Because I would have contrived my lessons, not lived them and passed them on. Where’s the empathy in that?
Case in point. In my most recent novel, Quimby Pond, my heroine, Gwen Kelly, has lived her life in the shadow of God’s standards, but not in his love. She’s a “good person,” has an innate sense of what is “proper,” but remains tossed on the waves of human doubt as to why it’s proper. Her spirituality? Her childhood church experience? Here’s an excerpt from the book:
[Gwen’s] fondest recollections of Sunday mornings revolved not around church, but rather brunch at a local pancake house as a reward for not squirming too much during the boring services. Her success was usually gauged by the number of over-the-shoulder huffs from the dour Mrs. Olsen, who always seemed to select the pew directly in front of the Kellys. On a good morning, a steaming stack of blueberry pancakes, whipped cream, and warm maple syrup awaited, making Sundays bearable.
Excepting the fictitious Mrs. Olsen, this was largely my childhood church experience, and I bequeathed it to Gwen. How does she cope with this kind of a spiritual past in the midst of the clutch situations I foisted upon her in Quimby Pond? Her image of God and of communion with him—i.e., prayer—lacked understanding, substance, caring. How does one cope? How does one surrender to the love of God, not just perceive a notion of his standards? The story’s hero, Brent Newcomb, wondered the same thing. Here’s an exchange between Brent and Gwen:
As they neared the hospital, she cast a questioning glance at him. “You were praying last night, weren’t you? During the search.”
“I sure was.”
“Do you think it made any difference?”
“It made a difference to me.” He pulled into the hospital parking lot and into an empty slot. “And apparently to Hannah too. You realize that God answered the prayer through you, don’t you?”
She threw him a startled look. “What do you mean?”
He propped an elbow on the steering wheel and faced her. “It was your sudden idea to search near Quimby Pond, and that idea saved Hannah’s life. I’ve discovered that God is usually responsible for sudden ideas like that.”
She looked down again. “Do you pray a lot? I mean, you know, at regular times. Not only in emergencies.”
“Not as often as I should.” He offered a slight smile as he switched off the engine. “What’s your position on the subject?”
She shrugged and reached for her seatbelt buckle.
Will Gwen ever give in to the lure of prayer? If so, what will it take to bring her to the point of surrender? What does it take to bring any person to the point of “surrendering” to prayer, of recognizing that such communion yields solace to the person praying and joy to the One to whom the prayer is lifted. The answer to that question is different for every person.
Her lesson still teaches this author. And she did it all by herself.
Author Bio and photo
Bruce Judisch has been writing fiction for many years. His first work, “A Prophet’s Tale,” is a two-part novelization of the story of the Old Testament prophet, Jonah ben Amittai, comprising The Journey Begun and The Word Fulfilled. A third part, The Promised Kept, is under construction. More recently, he wrote two novels with complementary contemporary and historical storylines: Katia, a Cold War novel focusing on the fall of the Berlin Wall, and its sequel, For Maria, featuring the Kindertransport.
Bruce lives in Texas with his wife and high school sweetheart, Jeannie, and their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Charlie and Raleigh. Bruce and Jeannie are the proud parents of three and grandparents of fourteen.
Book Cover and blurb
Thursday, August 20, 1896, Marble Falls, Maine. A festively adorned bridal trunk arrives on the one o’clock train, but no newlyweds debark to claim it. Curious townspeople gather for the evening train, but again only to disappointment. Where was the happy couple? What became of the trunk? And what if it wasn’t a bridal trunk at all…?
Present Day: Gwen Kelly comes to Marble Falls to escape a broken past, a past that revisits her when she begins to restore an antique trunk. A mysterious assailant targets her friends and fingers her as the only person who can stop him. Gwen is thrust into an awkward relationship with Officer Brent Newcomb as they race to stop the intruder from striking again. Could the trunk hold the key to this cloud of violence spreading over the peaceful Marble Falls region? If so, will they discover its secret in time? If not, what have they stumbled into?
Purchase QUIMBY’S POND HERE